Northeastern News

1HomePageMap small ne 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine

The Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia served as the site of the Waste Conversion Technology Congress 2011, on June 8 and 9.

The event was organized and hosted by London-based FC Business Intelligence and its EyeforEnergy division. According to EyeforEnergy, the event’s focus was on:
• Waste conversion technology, including case studies from global providers of waste conversion technologies;
• Financing, including private sector views on waste conversion technology investment and an update on the United States Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantees;
• International Project Planning, including strategies to mitigate risk, drive down costs and increase a company’s bottom line; and
• Project approval and development, from getting a project approved in a timely, cost-effective way to workable solutions to common project challenges.

In a notice to collision repairers in the state, the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) is warning shop owners that some Allstate managers are forcing their damage appraisers to institute new policies that are in direct conflict with Connecticut law.

According to the notice, certain Allstate damage appraisers have informed the association that their managers are instructing damage appraisers to disallow labor on any supplement involving “Labor Only Procedures.”

In addition, those same insurance managers are also mandating visual inspections on all vehicles before any appraiser can authorize repairs to start and are no longer permitting appraisers to accept body shop photos.

According to the notice, Allstate has further instructed these appraisers to disregard all documented procedures performed by a shop that did not wait for the required supplement inspection.

Two associations are serving the collision-repair industry in Pennsylvania. They are The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Pennsylvania, (AASP-PA) based in Harrisburg, and, in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Collision Trade Guild (PCTG).

The PCTG, led by Executive Director Ross DiBono, says it represents approximately 700 automotive-industry businesses, including collision shops, in its mission to achieve proper compliance and enforcement of legislation such as The Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Appraiser Act and The Pennsylvania Unfair Insurance Practices Act, as well as other consumer-protection laws.

As part of its educating mission, the Guild publicizes consumers’ rights to choose collision repair facilities.

“The decision of where the vehicle is to be repaired is the vehicle owner’s, not an insurance company’s,” the organization stresses on its web site. In addition, “It is the Guild’s purpose to bring accountability to the process of consumer claim handling and settlements in Pennsylvania.”

An affiliate of the national association, Minneapolis, Minn., based AASP, the 1,300-member AASP-PA comprises three divisions: Mechanical, Collision, and Towing.

A joint committee hearing was held by the Consumer Affairs and Transportation committees of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on "Right to Repair" on June 6. Testifying at the Philadelphia, PA, hearing were three panels of witnesses, including automobile maintenance and repair shop owners who expressed concern with so-called "Right to Repair" legislation that has been introduced previously in the U.S. Congress and several states. Neither the Congress nor any state has ever passed "Right to Repair" legislation.

John Francis III of Francis Automotive in West Chester, Pa., testified for the Automotive Service Association (ASA) emphasizing that automotive service information is already available to independent repairers and consumers. "At Francis Automotive, we use several third-party service information providers - ALLDATA, Identifix and an online service that includes technicians from all over the world, iATN - on a daily basis. As needed, our technicians will use automotive manufacturer websites. We have several aftermarket scan tools that we use and two auto manufacturer scan tools. Tools to perform reflashing are available for all makes of vehicles. It's a business decision regarding which tools to purchase. We have made a business choice not to purchase equipment to reflash BMWs and Mercedes. It is not because the tools and information are not available--they are available. But for our business model, we have chosen not to purchase this equipment."

Wednesday, 08 June 2011 09:52

CCAR Awards Two NY Shops 'GreenLink' Status

Two auto repair facilities in New York were recognized by the Coordinating Committee For Automotive Repair (CCAR) as one of the group's GreenLink Shops for the month of May on June 1.

The GreenLink Shop status is an extension of CCAR’s CCAR-GreenLink Environmental Compliance Assistance Center and S/P2 Safety and Pollution Prevention E-learning Program--designed to promote consumer confidence in local automotive repair facilities’ environmental/safety awareness and stewardship.

The new GreenLink Shops are; Tedesco Auto Body, New Rochelle, NY and Wayside Auto Body, Jamaica, NY.

“CCAR is proud to recognize these newest members of the GreenLink Shop program and their commitment to best practices in environmental and safety processes,” said Daren Fristoe, CCAR president and chief operating officer.

CCAR requires that repair facilities seeking the GreenLink Shop recognition must maintain high standards of excellence in environmental, health and safety (EHS) practices in four categories including; business operations, employee training, safety compliance and environmental management.

For more information please visit www.ccar-greenlink.org.

The Click It or Ticket campaign will be in full effect with statewide overtime seat belt enforcement through June 4. Daily enforcement traffic safety checkpoints and saturation patrols will be conducted day & night by 24 state, local, and municipal police agencies statewide. Much of the enforcement will occur in the afternoons and evenings when the majority of unrestrained injuries and fatal crashes occur, according to the Milford Beacon.

Currently, Delaware’s unrestrained fatal crashes are out pacing this time last year. At this time last year 35% of the fatal vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts compared to 46% currently. 

Delaware law requires drivers and all passengers, including those in the back seat, to wear a seat belt.  An officer can pull over a driver if he sees any person in the vehicle not wearing a seat belt, even if there is no other violation. Officers will be issuing citations for seat belt violations as part of a zero tolerance policy. The ticket, which goes to the driver no matter who is unbuckled in the vehicle, is a $25 fine plus court costs, which can eventually total as much as $70.

Participating agencies include Dewey, Dover, Elsmere, Felton, Georgetown, Laurel, Milford, Millsboro, New Castle City, New Castle County, Newark, Newport, Rehoboth, Seaford, Wilmington, Wyoming, and Delaware State Police.